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Open Access Fungal pathogens of Proteaceae

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Species of Leucadendron, Leucospermum and Protea (Proteaceae) are in high demand for the international floriculture market due to their brightly coloured and textured flowers or bracts. Fungal pathogens, however, create a serious problem in cultivating flawless blooms. The aim of the present study was to characterise several of these pathogens using morphology, culture characteristics, and DNA sequence data of the rRNA-ITS and LSU genes. In some cases additional genes such as TEF 1-α and CHS were also sequenced. Based on the results of this study, several novel species and genera are described. Brunneosphaerella leaf blight is shown to be caused by three species, namely B. jonkershoekensis on Protea repens, B. nitidae sp. nov. on Protea nitida and B. protearum on a wide host range of Protea spp. (South Africa). Coniothyrium-like species associated with Coniothyrium leaf spot are allocated to other genera, namely Curreya grandicipis on Protea grandiceps, and Microsphaeropsis proteae on P. nitida (South Africa). Diaporthe leucospermi is described on Leucospermum sp. (Australia), and Diplodina microsperma newly reported on Protea sp. (New Zealand). Pyrenophora blight is caused by a novel species, Pyrenophora leucospermi, and not Drechslera biseptata or D. dematoidea as previously reported. Fusicladium proteae is described on Protea sp. (South Africa), Pestalotiopsis protearum on Leucospermum cuneiforme (Zimbabwe), Ramularia vizellae and R.stellenboschensis on Protea spp. (South Africa), and Teratosphaeria capensis on Protea spp. (Portugal, South Africa). Aureobasidium leaf spot is shown to be caused by two species, namely A. proteae comb. nov. on Protea spp. (South Africa), and A. leucospermi sp. nov. on Leucospermum spp. (Indonesia, Portugal, South Africa). Novel genera and species elucidated in this study include Gordonomyces mucovaginatus and Pseudopassalora gouriqua (hyphomycetes), and Xenoconiothyrium catenata (coelomycete), all on Protea spp. (South Africa).

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Keywords: BIODIVERSITY; CUT-FLOWER INDUSTRY; FUNGAL PATHOGENS; ITS; LSU; PHYLOGENY; SYSTEMATICS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-12-31

More about this publication?
  • Persoonia aims to publish papers dealing with molecular phylogeny and evolution of fungi. A further aim is to promote fungal taxonomy by employing a polythetic approach to clarify the true phylogeny and relationships within the kingdom Fungi. The journal publishes high-quality papers elucidating known and novel fungal taxa at the DNA level, and also strives to present novel insights into evolutionary processes and relationships. Papers to be considered include research articles and reviews.

    Papers are published using a Fast Track system. This implies that the papers are immediately published online and freely available through the internet via this website. Volumes appear twice a year (June and December). From Volume 36 onwards (2016) hard copy volumes will only be made available through printing-on-demand. The issues can be ordered separately through the Publication Division of Naturalis Biodiversity Center; e-mail: [email protected]

    Persoonia is a journal published jointly by the Naturalis Biodiversity Center and the Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute.
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